Anyone can become infected, but preschool and school-aged children are especially at risk during summer months.
Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial infection that can develop when a small cut or scratch becomes infected. Though this type of bacterial infection can affect adults, it is most common in children.
With an emphasis on preventing illness and encouraging the body’s natural tendency toward self-healing, osteopathic physicians (DOs) recommend taking precautions to avoid contact and limit spread of the infection. Learn more about DOs and their unique approach to care, which involves looking beyond your symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact your wellbeing. DOs complete extensive postgraduate and clinical training before becoming fully licensed physicians. Compare physician training requirements to those required for other types of clinicians.
Impetigo is caused by one of two bacteria:
Impetigo usually affects preschool and school-aged children, especially during the summer, and is more prevalent among patients suffering from other skin problems, such as eczema, poison ivy, or a skin allergy to soap.
You can prevent impetigo by keeping skin clean and taking extra care during the winter months, especially if you live in a cold climate. Osteopathic physicians recommend the following:
Impetigo is highly contagious, and easily spread by touching the affected area and then touching other parts of the body. The infection can also spread to other household members through clothing, towels and bed linens that have been in contact with the infected person.
If the infected areas are relatively small, you can try simple home remedies, including: